Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - D.C. United announced on Wednesday that Young Designated Player Rafael has left the club by mutual consent.
The 20-year-old was signed to a Young Designated Player contract on loan from Brazilian side Bahia in January, and he brought with him expectations of a key role in the D.C. attack.
But after scoring a goal in his MLS debut against Columbus on March 23, Rafael has failed to impress for a struggling United team, playing just 31 minutes in the club's last seven matches.
"We thought he would be further along at this point of the season in his adaptation and development," United general manager Dave Kasper told the club's website. "Additionally, Casey Townsend has come into the picture recently with solid play, and Rafa lost playing time as a result. We did not see this changing.
"In the end, with a looming decision on a big transfer payment for a player on loan, we felt it would be wiser to look to invest funds toward players elsewhere."
Rafael's brief spell at United ends with the player having made seven league appearances, including four starts, and Kasper hopes that the money the team saves on Rafael will be spent this summer.
"We are looking to add two to three players this summer, and we have salary cap and allocation money to make some moves," Kasper said.